There are many routes that lead to Late Antiquity; mine started with an illustrated book of the Odyssey and of Daphnis and Chloe. This primary curiosity about myths developed into a specific research interest for mythology, the structure of folk-tales, and the structure of longer texts, i.e. narratology.

Having studied Classics at University of Athens, I continued my studies at Univeristé La Sorbonne, Paris IV: faithful to my interest in mythology I worked on a Maîtrise whose subject is ‘Mythes musicaux et amoureux chez Longus’ and then on the DEA on ‘Mythes dans les Éthiopiques d’ Héliodore. My DPhil for University of Oxford (2010) followed the same path and examines the myths and the narrative structure of the Greek love novels.

The world of Late Antiquity was gradually revealed to me during the years of the doctorate: from Lucian’s Dialogues, to Heliodorus’ (the Bishop?) Aethiopica, to Philostratus’ Live of Apollonius of Tyanna and the Heroikos, and to Nonnos’ Dionysiaca and the Paraphrase of the Gospel of St. John the correspondences were not to be downplayed. The deepest one looks in this not so well studied era the more his curiosity is nursed by literary phaenomena like Nonnos, or the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions that blend both Pagan and Christian literary forms and contents.

What means to be Greek, what means to be Christian, or both? What was the impact of Greek paideia in the construction of this new ‘Late Antique’ identity? Was it an era of blind individualism or did the literate, for whom we have the testimony, attempted to express and communicate their ideas, religious beliefs, and aesthetic values? Finally, was it an ‘era of anxiety’, a ‘grey zone’ before the ‘Dark Ages’ or of creative re-invention of a combined religious and literary identity?

These questions form the background of my research for the Courant Forschungszentrum EDRIS. In it I focuse on the study of Nonnos’ Paraphrase of the Gospel of St. John and on the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions. These two texts have the advantage that they both deal with Christian material presented in a Classical form, epic hexameters and the Greek novels respectively, and the aim is to examine the influence of the form on the context and the dialogue between merging literary identities.